Charlatan!

It's a running joke between my wife and I where I claim I did all these amazing things in the 11 days between my birth and hers and counter her challenge by asking to be proven wrong. Whether or not I invented rope (which I did) isn't the topic here though. This is about the guy in my office who likes to pontificate and speaks like he came up with common phrases or ideas. To be fair, this guy's been working for about 25 years and has seen and done a lot of things that people can benefit from hearing about. But inevitably during one of his lengthy sermons he'll say something like, "what I like to call 'lead times' for resources" or "the 'Agile' approach," which are clearly industry-standard…
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Zombie Nation

A few months ago, I supported the go-live of a large, organization-wide project. Along with many other poor souls, I ended up being given a crash-course on becoming a zombie: Step 1 start working more than 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, living out of a hotel room  (more…)
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Promises I Didn’t Make and Can’t Keep

Trying to deliver on someone else's promises is frustrating, especially when you weren't involved in making those promises. To make matters worse, this person won't acknowledge that their commitments can't be delivered on in the time frames promised. But, rather than face reality and let an already-overworked team know that the revised delivery dates are okay, the message back is, "just work harder." Thanks, we'll get right on violating the laws of spacetime. And so the frustration goes. So much so, that it's akin to screwing your dick into a light socket connected to a dimmer switch. At first it tingles but eventually you're clenching your fists and screaming.
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Proposed Fire Fighting Payment Structure

A letter I wrote to the City of Edmonton's Utility Committee and my councillor in opposition of a proposal to change the City's Fire Fighting payment structure: I'm writing to you in response to a news story I read about City Council considering a proposal that would see an adjustment to the Fire Fighting payment structure for the citizens of Edmonton. The proposal is to be discussed at the Sept 1, 2011 Utility Council meeting as agenda item 6.2 - 2012 Operating Budget Guidelines - Public Fire Protection Water Services Update - Proposed Amendment to Proposed Bylaw 15816. I am against this proposal and believe the cost of Fire Fighting services should remain - rightly - covered by property taxes and included in the City's annual budget.   (more…)
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So, how’s it feel to be married?

Since marrying the love of my life, I have been asked repeatedly how it feels to be married. My response to this tends to be, "about the same as it did the day before I got married." The other question people love to ask is when are we having kids which I answer with a shrug and something indeterminate like "eventually" or "when we decide to." Having had time to reflect more on the "feeling" question, I've noticed that my thinking has shifted to being much more protective of my wife. Not in the "I'm a man, watch me hunt and make fire" sense, just that I've started my own family now and, no matter what happens out in the world, I'm here to make sure nothing happens to my family.…
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Nervous

Leading up to my wedding (now four days to go), people can't seem to help themselves and ask me if I'm nervous. I don't fully understand why this is. No, I'm not nervous in the slightest. I made the decision to marry the girl I love well over nine months ago and nothing has changed. If anything, I'm more confident in and committed to that decision and will never look back. Plus, with how well we've planned our wedding, there's even less to be nervous about. The people who do seem to be nervous or - more appropriately - "anxious" are our mothers. I know they want the absolute best for us but somehow the calming reassurance we have in our good planning (as is shared by our fathers) hasn't taken…
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A Man with a Plan

As much as I want to rail against being labelled a "planner," I can't help myself. I'm a man with a plan. I like planning things: it reduces stress in my life, especially when things go differently than expected. And when things do go differently - as is bound to happen from time to time - I have the original plan in my head to understand what the impacts are and what needs to be done to still achieve the desired outcome. I find good planning makes things much more enjoyable because I worry less about the "what-ifs;" it frames the options that are available to respond to the unexpected. Moreover, having a plan frees up my mental energy and allows me to focus on other things.  (more…)
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